This is a series of articles on education in Shanghai (I tried to avoid big topics like Education in China:
>谁也改变不了中国的这一现实 (Whoever cannot change the reality of China)
This is the reason why China will not change. Wang Jianshuo, you have this attitude too.
Posted by: Micah (external link) on May 18, 2009 10:06 AM
I appreciate Micah’s honesty in expressing that I also have the “China will not change, and cannot be changed” attitude. Obviously, I don’t have that attitude.
To further argue on that part, let me explain why by first addressing the question: Is China changeable, or is China NOT changeable?
The Answer is Obvious
If you generalize that question, and ask in the way I asked: “Is China changeable?”, the answer will be widely accepted as “Yes. Surely China can change”. Those visitors who visited China 30 years ago, 20 years ago, and 10 years ago surely would agree that China will change – huge change.
However, if you dig into details of the change, you may further find few areas:
- Can China’s appearance change? Sure!
- Will the culture change? Sure! Look at the younger generation in big cities.
- Will the economy status change? Absolutely. What do you think the economic reform is about?
- Will the political system change? No any sign for the change yet, but considering everything else, it SHOULD be change, in near future.
- Will the educational system change? It had changed a little, but still not as far as we expected.
- Will the few famous bad behaviors of Chinese people change, like spitting, or jay walking? No obvious sign to change yet, but it is much better than 10 years ago.
In any way, from any perspective, and in all standard, China IS changing, if you put China into a scale of 30 years.
However, it is NOT as fast as expected
Considering the last 30 years, even the last 100-200 years, China changed a lot. However, just because China had closed its door too long, and it is too far away from the international world, today, there are still many things that people don’t understand – some of which, I agree that China should go one step further to join the international community, but most of them, it is the international community who need to accept China.
People have the feeling that China don’t change partly because, China does not change as fast as they want, despite that China already changed a lot.
Taking the bad behavior #1, spitting, as an example. It takes time. Although we can try all effort to make it better, it takes time. That is what my article Beer Can by the Highway vs Spitting is all about. It WILL change, but it takes time. So does the education system I talked about in my previous two articles about Yifan.
Parents’ Choice in the Current Situation
There are always long term goals and short term goals for any one. To change the educational system and further, to change the whole society to make it better for the next few generation is surely something we should do in long term. Why I am writing this blog? To foster communication between people inside and outside China, and to make a positive change to both.
For Chinese, to bring more people from other countries (who can communicate in English, no matter where they are) to discuss topics of China give us fresh ideas (where you want to post your comment about Chinese education system besides this blog?)
For non-Chinese, this blog provides an opportunity to understand China’s problem better, and at least start to think about China problems in a slightly different angle.
Besides this blog, there are many different things I am doing to help to make the long term change, including speak on TV, go to more than 20 universities so far to deliver speech, to have a small fund in university (although paused for a long time), and to evangelize democracies whenever I can… Yes. Everyone is trying to make a difference.
The challenge is, regarding the short term goal – for Yifan to have a nice future, the long term goal does not fit.
Is it Brave or Not to Find a Solution?
Nothing symbolizes individual’s fight with bigger system as well as Jew’s fight in the World War II. I just visited the Jewish Community in Shanghai where 30K+ Jewish people flee to Shanghai during the World War II, and survived in Shanghai. Are they coward, or hero? By theory, to stand up against Nazi, and die before them are more politically right, but no one, I mean no one, can point fingers to them and say, dye is your best choice. That is the long term and short term approach.
One of the comment in the previous article reads: “it (if) got you where you are today, no reason why yf (Yifan) can’t do the same!” I don’t believe so. It is as crucial as if there is you survived from the war, why you son cannot do the same? Send him to the war field, and then pray. If I have a chance, I mean, if I do have a choice, I will never choose the same thing.
I may continue the discussion about my dilemma in education in the next few articles. I said dilemma, not my choice, since I don’t have a choice yet – it is so hard to choose